Johnson Says He is “Skeptical” of the TPP, calls it “Laden” with Cronyism

One day ago, a new interview between Cenk Uyger of The Young Turks and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson appeared online in which the two sparred over some issues and agreed upon others in almost equal measure. However, one particular issue that Uyger might have expected Johnson to part ways with him on ended up being the issue in which Johnson was the most nuanced, honest, and pragmatic: The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It has been a persistent claim for awhile now from all of Johnson’s critics, including conservative libertarians and even TYT themselves, that Johnson is pro-TPP. Even if he were, of course, this doesn’t mean he is anti-free trade (after all, nobody actually knows fully what is in the TPP; only leaks), but upon being asked about it by Uyger in this interview, Johnson gave an unexpectedly candid answer:

“I have a sense that [the TPP] is laden with crony capitalism,” the former Governor of New Mexico explained. He further went on to clarify why his position might not have been as clearly relayed previously: “I have heard from people that I respect that it actually advances the ball, so I would keep an open mind, but the devil is in the details.”

Based on this clarification, it would seem that Johnson himself doesn’t have much love for the TPP, but isn’t completely ruling it out until he reads it for himself. Which is as reasonable a position as a libertarian politician can possibly take when discussing a document that, while shady, hasn’t been available to read for oneself yet.

Johnson further clarified on how he would approach the TPP if he were get is hands on it: “I would be a skeptic looking at that to begin with, because I think … those who have money are buying favoritism, and [the TPP] is for sale.”

Watch the full interview below.

This post was written by Micah J. Fleck.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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mjf2184@columbia.edu'/
Micah J. Fleck is a journalist and political writer who has spent the past several years developing his sincere-yet-indecypherable political outlook through independent research. While an enthusiast of both American history and economics, Mr. Fleck typically comes at his topics from a more anthropological perspective. His writings and interviews have been featured in various publications - including The National Review, The Libertarian Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and The College Fix - and he is currently earning a degree in anthropology at Columbia University. To support this author's work, visit his website.

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